CRTA: Elections in Serbia with Minimum Standards, Democracy – Endangered (video)
According to the quality and the choice of election day, but above all according to the overall election process, Serbia’s parliamentary elections in June are the worst elections that have been observed by the Serbian Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA) since 2016, the organization said.
Their observation mission, which consisted of a representative sample of randomly selected 500 polling stations, recorded irregularities in 80 percent of the cases. CRTA reports that the 500-stations sample allows for the observance of the adherence to laws at all polling stations.
The latest results, therefore, are twice as bad as in the 2016 and 2017 elections. Taking into account the types of irregularities and their prevalence throughout Serbia, CRTA estimates that they would be 4 percent lower in terms of turnout, i.e. if these irregularities did not exist.
“Although these elections meet minimum democratic standards, they jeopardize the quality of democracy in Serbia. Great effort has been made to create an illusion of democratic elections by reducing the electoral census or the number of registered voters, but after such elections, we can only expect that the next ones will be even worse,” said Rasha Nedeljkov, head of the CRTA Observation Mission.
At three levels of election observation, i.e. at polling stations, in front of the polling stations and at home voting, CRTA observers noted several irregularities, such as breach of the secrecy of the ballot, keeping parallel voter records, pressure on voters, vote-buying, voting without documents, voting without inspection with a UV lamp and the like. Three cases of corruption in the election process, known as the “Bulgarian train”, have been noted which CRTA reported to the police. There were physical incidents at two polling stations attended by CRTA observers. There were cases when voters could not vote because they were not on the voter list.
The election campaign that preceded election day was marked by major changes to the main rules of the game during the election process, with inequality of election participants, an intense campaign by officials at all levels, abuse of public resources, and interference of the institutions that should protect the integrity of the electoral process.
Crta is already working on a complete analysis, and below you can watch the press conference at which the remarks written above were announced.